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OPEN HOUSE | Buckhead mansion transformed for 2012 Decorators' Show House and Gardens

8:55 PM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- For the last 42 years, the Atlanta Symphony has turned its attention to another kind of artistic inspiration: home design.

Ahead of the opening of 'The 2012 Decorators' Show House & Gardens' this weekend, Melissa Long is taking viewers inside the elaborate Buckhead mansion transformed by Metro Atlanta's top designers. 

The 1929 English Georgian estate, next door to the Governer's mansion, has been gutted, every year, for the last 42 years. The mansion is stripped for the Decorators' Showhouse and Gardens.

"We had 150 applicants and 23 spaces," said Amy Mussara, chair of the 2012 event. During the interview, Mussara acted as a tour guide of the 9,330 square foot mansion.

For months, the selected designers have worked to transform this Buckhead home. 

The home features a top of the line kitchen, an elegant dining room, a cozy phone nook and an elaborate ladies dressing room; even the service stairwell has a special flair.

"This designer used a lot of color," Musarra explained. "And there's lots of art."

Designer William Murphy is a long time Showhouse alum. He's been part of the event since 1987.

Murphy's goal this year was to create an understated serene library that would be timeless.

"When you invest in the rugs, and draperies and sofa, it should be neutral tones, so it's not a trendy color," Murphy of Essary & Murphy, Inc. explained.

Another designing rule for this mansion? Integrate music since the Showhouse is presented by the Atlanta Symphony.

In the library, there's Andrea Bocelli's book and in the foyer, there's a Steinway.


"The decorative arts are as inspiring and necessary to our lives as music is to our lives," Stanley Romanstein, the President of the Atlanta Symphony said. 

And, while you might not be able to afford the mansion off West Paces Ferry, or its decor, it's all about finding a fresh idea.

"I think it's a moment on inspiration when you can walk through and say, 'Hm, I might not be able to afford this, but boy, it gives me an idea about something I can do in my home'," Romanstein said.

Proceeds from the Decorators' Showhouse & Gardens support the Symphony's education and community programs. The annual event runs through Mother's Day. 

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